US, UK and Spain to hold emergency Iraq summit in Azores

14 March 2003
The leaders of the US, the UK and Spain are to hold an emergency summit on 16 March to discuss the impasse in the UN Security Council over a second resolution on Iraq. The three co-sponsored the draft resolution which would have given Iraq until 17 March to prove it was complying unconditionally with its disarmament obligations or face war. However, despite intense diplomacy the three have been unable to come up with a second resolution acceptable to the majority of Security Council members. US President Bush, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar will meet in the Azores to discuss how to procede, according to White House spokesman Ari Fleischer. On 13 March, Washington appeared to backtrack from insistence on forcing a vote so that Security Council members would have to 'show their cards' on the Iraq crisis. Secretary of State Colin Powell raised the possibility that no vote would be called.

French President Jacques Chirac, who has infuriated both Washington and London by rejecting their proposed resolution, spoke with Blair on 14 March. A spokesman for Chirac said that the French President had told Blair he wanted to work with the UK to achieve Iraqi disarmament but could not accept any resolution incorporating an automatic trigger for war.

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